BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox took care of some business on Thursday morning, agreeing on one-year contracts with 18 pre-arbitration-eligible players for the 2017 season.
There was one exception, however, and it’s a pretty big exception. The team could not reach an agreement with MVP runner-up Mookie Betts, instead renewing his contract for next season.
Basically, the team determined Betts’ salary for next season, giving him a $950,000 deal for 2017 (via The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier). It’s not a bad deal for either side, with Boston paying one of their best young players less than $1 million and Betts receiving a raise from his $566,000 salary from last season.
As Speier notes, this is the second-highest one-year deal ever for a non-arbitration-eligible player with two-plus years of big league service, behind only to the $1 million Mike Trout received from the Angels in 2014.
While it may appear that this could one day lead to some messy negotiations at the bargaining table, both Betts and Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski say Thursday’s news is just business as usual.
“It’s one of those things where you kind of hope for the best, but it’s the business side. There’s no animosity or nothing going on that let my hopes down or anything. Now we’ll just focus on baseball and go from there,” said Betts. “When you stand for something, you stand for it; that’s my view on it. Like I said, we didn’t agree on that end, but like I said, I love everybody here and that’s never going to change. I’ll play the same way I’d play any other time.”
“We didn’t feel like there were any animosities involved,” Dombrowski said down in Fort Myers, Florida. “He just had a different number in mind than what we had. We couldn’t come to an agreement, so we renewed him.”
Betts, who hit .318 with 31 homers, 113 RBIs and 122 runs scored last year, said he’s not all disappointed with Thursday’s news, and his focus has shifted to the 2017 season.
“These things go on. There is no disappointment, nothing there. Now we’re going to play baseball,” he said. “It’s behind us, we look forward and play the game. … We’re just going to worry about bringing home a World Series and go from there.”